Practical Information

Practical Information

Travelling to Britain

A network of car and passenger ferry services conveniently link a dozen British ports to northern and southern Europe.
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Travelling around Britain

When it comes to travelling around Britain, visitors are spoilt for choice. Whether they prefer to travel at their own pace by car, enjoy the convenience and value of train travel, or opt for coach or plane, there are plenty of options available.
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Britain’s national holidays

Bank holidays in Britain vary from nation to nation, and can reflect a change in prices, as well as offering additional seasonal activities for clients to enjoy.
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VAT and tax free shopping

VAT is a 20% sales tax charged on most goods. Exceptions are food, books and children’s clothes. Visitors from outside the EU who stay less than three months may claim this tax back.
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Bringing pet dogs to the UK

For a long time, taking a dog to Britain for a holiday was unthinkable, as strict quarantine regulations applied. But since these regulations were relaxed in 2000, Britain has become a popular destination for dog owners.
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Passports and visas

Before travellers arrive in Britain they should make sure that they have the appropriate identification and the correct visa.
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Time

During the winter months, Britain is on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time and 10 hours behind Sydney. From late March until late October, the clocks go forward one hour to adhere to British Summer Time (BST).
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Opening hours

Opening hours in Britain are generally Monday-Saturday from 09:00 or 10:00 until 17.30. Outside of London and other main cities, many businesses, and shops operate reduced hours on Sundays or are closed, but in the larger cities most shops will be open.
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Public telephones

Visitors can use a payphone with coins or a card. All payphones accept 10p, 20p, 50p and £1 pieces; the newer ones also accept £2 coins. The minimum cost of a call is 60p.
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Postal services

Stamps can be bought at many outlets, including supermarkets and petrol stations. When writing to a British address, it is advisable to always include the postcode, which, if not known, can be obtained from Royal Mail.
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Pharmacists

There are many community pharmacies in towns and villages in and around the UK where pharmacists will be able to dispense medication, dispose of out-of-date medication and offer advice on minor ailments, as well as general health and wellbeing.
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Mobile phones and the internet

The UK network uses the 900 or 1800 GSM system, so visitors from the United States (where the system is 800 or 1900 MHz band) will need to acquire a tri- or quad-band set. Your clients will need to contact their service provider directly for specific details.
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UK customs regulations

Visitors can bring some goods from abroad without having to pay UK tax or ‘duty’ (customs charges), as long as they’re for their own use. It depends on the type of goods they're bringing in and where they're travelling from.
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Electricity

The voltage in Britain is 220/240 AC, 50 Hz. Electrical plugs have three rectangular pins and take fuses of 3, 5 and 13 amps.